By FRANCO PANIZO
SEATTLE – The U.S. Men’s National Team is likely to be without Herculez Gomez for their upcoming World Cup qualifier against Panama, but don’t rule out Jermaine Jones just yet.
Speaking to reporters in an interview at halftime of the Seattle Sounders-Vancouver Whitecaps game on Saturday night, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann provided some insight into the status of some of the team’s injury question marks.
Klinsmann all but ruled Gomez out for Tuesday’s clash vs. Panama at CenturyLink Field because of the knee injury that has hampered him since the start of camp. Klinsmann did leave some room for optimism for Jones, whose availability was put into question after suffering a concussion in the U.S. team’s 2-1 road win in qualifying vs. Jamaica on Friday night.
“Herc is one step at a time,” said Klinsmann. “It’s going to be probably too early Tuesday night. Jermaine, he will get probably a couple of tests on Monday morning, so we take it slow on him.”
Even if Jones dresses against Panama, the U.S. will still be without one of their central midfielders for the match at CenturyLink Field. Danny Williams left the team after arriving in Seattle with the squad after their lengthy trip from Jamaica to the Pacific Northwest.
“With Danny Williams, it was the case that we tried every day, catching up, catching up, and then we looked at him and I took the decision, together with the coach at Hoffenheim, to release him and let him go on vacation and kind of get some rest and start the next season on a fresh foot basically,” said Klinsmann. “He came with us to Seattle today and from here he left us and went on vacation.”
Klinsmann also touched on the status of midfielder Brek Shea, who was originally included on the U.S. roster but released to recover from a nagging calf knock sustained while with Stoke City.
Klinsmann said Shea’s health would be gauged this week but made it seem as if Shea was more likely to play in the Gold Cup in July than in next week’s World Cup qualifier vs. Honduras at Rio Tinto Stadium if he was deemed fit enough.
“‘We’re going to test him in the upcoming week,” said Klinsmann. “He did a lot, a lot of work in Dallas and we have another place there with Athlete’s Performance in Dallas so we will run him through a testing battery we call it and see where he’s at. There’s no rush for him coming back into the group. He’s going to be also available for the Gold Cup.
“Right now, we feel like we are covered everywhere so no hurry on Brek but we are pleased that he has no complaints right now anymore on his calf so every day is a good day for him to catch up.”
Optimistic that Jones will play vs. Panama? Bummed to hear Gomez is unlikely to dress?
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